Back in the 60s when land communitation was not as good as today, I could still remember the best access to reach my kampung in Jerlun, Kedah from Alor Setar was by boat. Jerlun is about 18 Km using Route 7 of the Federal road towards Kangar. The best access was using the river.
From Alor Setar commuter will have to board a boat that ply between Alor Setar and Air Hitam using the main rivers. Nowaday most part of the river had either turned to too shallow or been filled with earth and rendered non functioning anymore. It was an experience that will never be relive again today. Boat travels along the river and at certain points it has to cross a tandop or small dam, built across the river to keep water at a desired level. It function a a water lift usually with doors at each sides. One side opens and the boat enters into its catchment compartment before being closed. Water is being leveled with the either side beore the next door open and the boat will pass through.
The take off point in Alor setar for boats connecting the kampungs around Kedah is Tanjung Chali, now just a historical point. There was a jetty that was also an inland port those days at the confluence of Sungai Kedah and Sungai Anak Bukit. It's a dropoff point for domestic trade. If you happen to dropby in Alor Setar and asking for direction to the place just ask where is Jalan Pekan China or Jalan Pengkalan Kapal. There's also a street called Pekan Melayu running parallel to Pekan China.
Tanjung Chali was opened in early 1920s by YTM Tunku Yaakob as an effort to train local Malays the art of trading. More information and pictures HERE. Read also HERE.
Eventhough there is not much to be seen here nowadays, but you can walk up the stairs of Menara Tanjung Chali to have a birds eyeview of the surrounding areas. Its very visible because there not much tall and highrise buildings around that block your view. On a clear day you can see as far as your eye can reach.